Content marketing as we know it today is still fairly new in the grand scheme of things, but it has been proven to be extremely effective at attracting and wooing new users and customers, and keeping existing users and customers engaged. Content marketing works. But there’s a problem with content marketing, and that’s the content. There’s never enough of it!
According to a 2014 study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 55% B2B marketers and 51% of B2C marketers say that producing enough content to meet the needs of a content marketing machine is one of their biggest challenges.
Is that consistent with your challenges as an inbound marketer?
It is our goal at 98toGo to help you alleviate that problem, not with a silver bullet or magic wand, but with a systematic, repeatable process that provides you with a large bank of content to attract and activate new users while retaining existing users and turning them into advocates of your services.
That’s what we’re going to do with this blog post!
We’re going to give you a new way of looking at the content you’re creating, moving you from an individualistic and nearsighted view, to a more collective and synchronistic view, that’s going to leave you with more ideas, more content and a more effective strategy.
Let’s dive in!
To begin, let’s first address how you (the marketer or content creator) thinks about the content required to execute an outstanding inbound marketing campaign and strategy. It is short-sighted to think of content creation as a linear, one-at-a-time process, and doing so will cause the marketer to be consistently behind the 8-ball to create enough content.
The more accurate, and ultimately effective, way to view content marketing is as an ecosystem where content of different types (ebooks, blog articles, videos, social media posts) interact with and support one another, with the common goal of educating and nurturing the customer to a point of sale.
Think of Your Content Like the Solar System: Sun, Planets, and Moons
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Consider the analogy of a solar system for your content creation initiatives. Your big piece of content (for example: a webinar, ebook, research paper), is like the sun. That content provides all the “energy”, and is what the rest of the solar system is built off of.
Next you have the planets that revolve around your sun. They are your supporting content. That content would be blog posts, videos, or slideshare decks that are created from the sun content.
After that you have the moons. They revolve around your planets, and are your promotional channels. Those promotional channels, like email and social media, must still be considered “content” because you will repurpose the main content by creating unique messages, graphics, hashtags, and other smaller pieces of content for each of these channels. The planets and moons are just repurposing the “energy” (content) of the sun.
Your content creation process should look like a solar system, with the sun in the middle producing all the light and heat, the planets revolving around the sun, and moons revolving around each planet bringing gravity to each. The planets and moons are dependent upon the sun’s energy. With that simple analogy, we will walk you through one example of how to put this formula to work.
One Simple Method to Repurpose Your Content
Social media software maker Buffer recently said, “90% of our social media updates are based on content we’ve written on the blog.” So Buffer’s “sun” is their blog. The BufferSocial blog is where everything starts for Buffer, but Buffer is an unusual example because they actually are a social media marketing company. However, the analogy still works, but since so few marketers have the luxury of such massive blog readership, we will use the ebook as the example of your “sun”. The content contained within your ebook is the centerpiece of the entire content marketing strategy, so the goal of the planets and moons is to drive visitors, users, and prospects back to the ebook to download and consume that content. Everything revolves around the sun.
For the planets that surround and revolve around the sun, you might repurpose podcasts, video interviews, LIVE presentations, and slide decks that utilize specific pieces of the ebook content for slightly different purposes. One very common technique is to begin with a blog post, and then turn that into a Q&A with the author of the post. That content, derived from the blog post itself, can then be turned into a video of the interview or audio recording of the interview.
Graphics, images or photos created from the video of the Q&A session can be repurposed in a social media update to attract your target audience. For example, if the initial blog post contains certain metrics that demonstrate your company’s value proposition, posting the graphic that illustrates those metrics to social media, along with a short, compelling description will serve as an excellent repurposed “moon” to revolve around that specific piece of content that came from the blog post.
Another example of a “moon” from this campaign could be a Vine or Instagram video of the author of the post during the interview as she restates the critical metric that drives attention to the interview, which ultimately brings visitors back to the blog to answer the call to action.
Here’s a simplified breakdown of the Solar System Content Creation Model.
Sun - serves as the center of the campaign; everything revolves around the sun; examples include:
- extensive research report
- white paper
- live event
Planets - revolve around the sun, soaking up the sun’s resources to be used in their microcosms; examples include:
- slide decks
- individual blog posts that support and promote a block of research
Moons - revolve around the planets; examples include:
- an email campaign to push out the podcast of your CTO in an in depth discussion of the technology on which your company is built
- a LinkedIn blog post that gives an overview of the white paper with a call to action to download the white paper, in exchange for the reader’s email address.
Your content creation process can become its own self-sustaining solar system. Each campaign can be consistent with all the others, centered upon one specific type of media, or each campaign could be based on a different “sun”, depending on the goals of the campaign. Either way, using this construct, you can begin your content marketing efforts with the end in mind, and the end will be having plenty of content to drive attraction and activation of new users while retaining existing users and turning them into referrers of your services.